How Hydropower Generates Electricity
The force of moving water is very powerful, and a hydroplant uses that force to generate electricity. Hydroplants are built near moving bodies of water, such as rivers that fill a reservoir or lake. Man-made facilities such as dams create moving water. The dams are built on reservoirs or lakes and have gates that can be opened or closed to control the water flowing over them.
The energy from hydropower changes as it flows through a hydroplant. The falling water begins as gravitational energy, and then converts to mechanical energy as the force of the water turns the turbine.